Monday, September 12, 2011

ONE YEAR, Chad reflects on Why He Is Serving A Mission

(Parent Preface: It is apparently a tradition that on your ONE YEAR MARK, you burn a white shirt. If you remember Chad burned a tie at 6 months. So, enjoy the pictures.  Also, Chad shares some tender feelings about WHY HE IS SERVING A MISSION and what it has done for him.  He certainly has wisdom beyond his years.  We love him and are grateful for his example, and his missionary service that will bless his LIFE every day.)

Burning a SHIRT for ONE YEAR on a Mission!

SAD because one year is gone?
Only ONE YEAR left?
 Time really does fly!

Hola Mis Queridos Padres!           12 Sept 2011

Another week has come and gone. This week was a decent week. It was not the greatest, but it was good enough for me. I just have had a lot of things fighting against me and I am trying to push through and stay positive. One thing is that the afternoons and starting to become really slow. In the summer we were able to go teach a lot during the afternoon because there was no school, but now most of the people we are trying to teach are in school for the whole day. It is just a real test of my diligence to see how I work through it. Sometimes wish that I was in a big city where there are always people out walking around and we would be able to contact them on the street. In Price, there is no one ever walking around, or if there is someone walking it is usually the missionaries. J  However, I am grateful to be able to serve, even if it is in a little town in the middle of no where.
This week I have had some good experiences and some learning experiences. I really have learned about the power of prayer this week. I have been really increasing this lately, but we had a lesson where we talked about how they needed to pray for understanding on what God wanted them to do. We talked a lot about how it is a conversation with Heavenly Father and how it is a powerful tool. It finally hit me that since it is a conversation between us and Heavenly Father, it requires us to take the time to stop and listen to what He has to say as well. We can’t just run in and rattle off a little prayer and then just take off. We need to say a heartfelt, sincere prayer and then stop and wait for the answers and remarks that He has for us. It was a pretty crazy epiphany for me.
          Well a crazy, random thing that happened this week is that I had a boxing match with a 4 year old. She is the daughter of our investigators. When we were over there one night, she pulled out these boxing gloves. After the lesson I had a bout with her. It was pretty funny. There is a video of it, but I guess that will have to wait for another year.
Yes, I am officially a year old in the mission now! It is so crazy to think that half of my mission is gone. It is amazing to see how fast time flies by. I do know that this is probably the greatest thing I have ever done in my life to this point. I have been able to learn so much in this past year, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. I have a ton of people that ask me if I feel that it is too much to give up two years.  I just look at them and say it is worth every second. I never thought it would be possible for me to learn this much in such a short amount of time. My knowledge of the Gospel has grown infinitely. I have also been able to learn a whole other language and be able to completely understand and communicate with others in this language. Great experiences! I am looking forward to this next year of my life with great excitement to see what will come out of it. I just pray that it will be as great as the first year of my mission.
One big excitement here is that the Spanish work is really starting to take off. We had a ton of investigators at Sacrament meeting. It was definitely a surprise. We have been teaching more in Spanish and since I am the only missionary that speaks Spanish, I have been relying on the Spirit so much. If I didn’t have the Spirit to help guide me, I would be completely lost and those lessons would have been terrible. The Spirit is so important in this work!  I am really learning a lot by serving as a District Leader this time around. I feel that I am a little more prepared and I understand what is expected more at this time. Before I just "winged" it and I was not that qualified to serve in that position because I would ask things of people and then not do them myself. But how can I ask others to do things that I am not willing to do myself? It just doesn’t work like that, or at least it shouldn’t. So I have made the commitment to myself this time around that I will be the example that I should have been last time and follow through with both my words and my actions.  The Lord does call us in our weaknesses so that we are able to be lifted up by His hand.
We had another pretty cool experience about teaching the Word of Wisdom to some of our investigators, Mattie and Hagen. Mattie is 11 and Hagen is 9, but that wasn’t the cool part. Their father is a pretty typical country man, so I was a little worried about how he was going to take it as we taught his children, and it basically would call out all of the things that he does wrong. This week it came down to "D-Day". The whole time we taught the lesson, the dad was in and out of the house, but as he listened he just didn’t say anything. Then finally he said that it is something good that we were teaching his kids. He may not be perfect and not keep the Word of Wisdom at all, but he can definitely recognize the principle behind us teaching it. So to me, it just was a real testimony that the Lord is helping us out and He truly can soften others hearts to the good.
          I figured out this week as well, that I have an extreme pet peeve about plans changing after I have them set. Before my mission I would never plan anything, and if I did it was just a day in general, but never a specific time. That all has changed since I have been here. This week I had planned out all the exchanges with the other companionships of Elders in my district, but that all changed because of some leadership meeting with President. It extremely stressed me out to have to reschedule all of the things that I had already planned out. It was just like BOOM, you have changed into someone who is organized and needs to be scheduled and planned. Is this a blessing or a curse from being out here?
We had 3 investigators that are pregnant, that was something new for me to see on my mission. We are down to only having two pregnant investigators now. Kristie (investigator) had her baby yesterday. It was the first person that I have known outside of Emma or Bethany that has had a baby. Just a little random fact for you.
Well I am still trying to become my best out here. It is a lot tougher than I thought. I think I am at a point, and then I will discover something else that I need to change. I guess that is just a good thing that there is always a constant need to change and become better. I am still dealing with trying to bond with my companion. We are just so extremely different that it is hard for me to find that common ground. I have really been praying a lot more for charity. (Charity is the pure Love of Christ.) This week I will have a lot of breaks from him, so that might help a little. I will be in Ephraim for a day in a meeting with President, then on Thursday I will be in Moab with another companion. This may be a good break to help me relax and then be able to continue to find the good in my companion. We will work hard and look for the good in each other.
     NEWS FROM HOME:  (We had our local full time missionaries stop by.)  It is good that the missionaries still stop by the house. I am glad that the new missionary is in good hands. That is the biggest thing, how your mission starts out. If your mission starts out in a good way, that usually sets the tone for the rest of your mission. That is why training is such a highly acclaimed calling while on a mission.
Well I am grateful for all the support and information that you have given me! (Since both Darin and I have served missions, we have sent our wisdom on how to get along with companions and how to be your best self.) Make everyday a great one and always give thanks to Heavenly Father for what he has given to us!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!

Les vayan con Dios!    Les amo!     ELDER D

No comments: